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Charles Dickens (1812–70) had astounding success with his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned, and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving, and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. Of all his many works, he called David Copperfield his "favourite child."
Jeremy Tambling (introduction) is a professor of literature at the University of Manchester.
Coralie Bickford-Smith (cover design) is an award-winning designer at Penguin Books, where she has created several highly acclaimed series designs. She studied typography at Reading University and lives in London.